This is my first scouting report from the site so let me know what you think’s missing or what you think of the format.
I didn’t put individual grades on each specific trait, but if that’s something you would like to see, let me know. I’m sure I could make that happen.
Brandon Harris after the jump.
Cornerback Specific Traits:
Excellent backpedal for a cornerback because of his good body control and he has such good speed that he can stay in his backpedal long enough to recognize run/pass before he shoots up to help the run, or has to turn around to run with the Wide receiver.
Zone Coverage/ Awarness:
This is Harris area of weakness, to me. Although he has all the athletic ability and willingness to participate in the zone coverage game, he can be looked of his coverages because he is hesitant. Where in man he can just stick with his guy because he has the superior athleticism in zone he has to have a feel for what’s going on and that’s not his strength, which indicates that his instincts are not elite.
He is, however, quick to get to the run because of his straight line speed once he recognizes that the play is a run. He also willing to mix it up.
Man to Man:
This is the greatest strength in Brandon Harris game as he can run with pretty much anyone he comes up against, but at the same time as loose hips and can turn them to mirror his receiver, along with his above average body control allows him to stay in the reciever’s pocket in man coverage. He’s also willing to be tough and physical at the line of scrimmage (although he does play off the scrimmage a bit as well) to disrupt the timing of the Wide receiver, even though he lacks great size. Although, he doesn’t intercept the ball he gets his head around to knock the ball away more often then not when he’s in position to make a play.
I think he does well in this area as well. He doesn’t have great instincts, where he might be able to diagnose a rotue at the onset (though I think he can get to that point because of his willing-to-work attitude), but he has quick reactions. If he sees a receiver turning around to reach for a ball he can whip his head back, locate the ball, and knock it away before it is completed. It his is good reaction time that lets him knock passes away, but it his average instincts that doesn’t allow him to cleanly catch a lot of interceptions.
What Harris lacks in size and tackling technique he makes up with desire and a willingness to throw his body around. He is not the greatest technique tackler, but he is super compeitive. He comes out of nowhere like a torpedo at the ball carrier to try and get him to the ground. Sure, sometimes he misses tackles, but it’s never a Deion-Sanders missed tackle, it’s a technique problem, which can be coached up. I have no problem with Harris in run support.
Athletic ability is Brandon Harris’ greatest strength. Harris is very fast, and has good size for a cornerback (not great size like Jimmy Smith), but good size. Harris has brilliant straight line speed and it wouldn’t surprise me if he ran a rapid 40 yard dash at the combine in a couple of weeks. Harris has loose hips and can rotate and run with Wide Receivers
Brandon Harris was not as productive as his talent would indicate in terms of getting his hands on the football (and keep his hands on the football). What Harris was able to do is contribute in the run game, racking up 44 tackles, but only 1 interception.
What Harris does do well, though is knock the ball away, tallying 10 passes defensed during the year, which is pretty good considered that he was not targeted as much as many cornerbacks in college football, but it’s still dissapointing that he wasn’t able to come away with more passes.
Is a hard worker. “Quoted as saying that he and his classmates (2008 signing class) should dedicate their 2010 season to head coach Randy Shannon and that they were largely to blame for Miami’s inconsistency” (CBS Draft Scout.com), this shows that he is a team player and is ok with sholudering the blame.
Improved every year he was in college, his father is also a national high school football coach of the year, should graduate with a degree (as long as he completes an internship).
Brandon Harris is a high-potential player. He has excellent athletic ability and a willingness to work and learn. He has had some bad games in his career at Miami, which might be worrisome for some fans or front offices (like his game vs Michael Floyd in the bowl game this year). But he’s also constantly improving, and especially this past season has been very good most games. And while I still think he has some improvement to go before
Darrelle Revis I’m not saying that Harris is going to be the next Darrelle Revis, what I”m saying is that they possess many of the same characteristics and have a similar style of play with if everything broke right he can be like Darrelle Revis. Like Revis, Harris is coming into this draft without great size, but fine size, but with a competitive fire and top-notch fluidty in his hips and speed. Revis was a good return men as well, but they had very similar stats their final years of college. They played the game the same way, with tenacity and fearless. If you read things that Harris has said now it sounds like a Darrelle Revis press conference.
Low End: Aaron Ross
As I think Harris plays like a college Revis I also think he is similar to Aaron Ross in college. I think the difference between Ross and Harris though is I believe Harris has a much better love for football. Ross came into the league as a willing tackler and a player with very good athletic ability (he also returned punts in college, unlike Harris), but Ross has a questionable love for the game, even admitting that he had not really cared about football as much as he should until he was injured and had to miss a year. Ross is also made of glass, but that’s a different story.
I really personally like Brandon Harris as a prospect. Like I said, he reminds me of Darrelle Revis in college. I’m not saying that Harris will mature into the player that Revis has turned into now, but I’m saying that they are similar and Harris, to me, has a very high upside and is one of the top players in this draft and an absolute ideal pick for me as a Giants fan with the 19th pick overall in this draft (if Mark Ingram isn’t available). But I think Haris still a littlte bit of work to go before he becomes a good starting cornerback in the league, until then he could excel as a nickel-back who can stay with the quicker, and shiftied WR in the league and a team hopes he eventually matures into a shut-down cornerback. I think savvy veteran QB and WR will be able to fool Harris early in his career until he learns more because while he lacks elite athleticism for the position he doesn’t have the matching instincts yet, but maybe someday he will.